By Max Papis Racing | August 22, 2011 at 9:20 am

BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 20, 2011) – After a one-week break, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entered the Irish Hills of Michigan to return to racing action. Max Papis was confident that the No. 9 GEICO Toyota Tundra was going to compete inside the top-10. However, an early accident on only the second lap spoiled the “best truck of the year” and left the Germain Racing team with a 19th-place finish at Michigan International Speedway.

During Saturday morning’s qualifying session, Papis clocked a lap of 41.071 seconds (175.306 mph) in order to solidify the 16th starting position. A few short hours later, the green flag flew to start the VFW 200. Papis quickly drove his way into the top-15 but on lap two, the GEICO Toyota received contact from competitor Cole Whitt, as Whitt’s truck shifted up the track and pushed Papis into the outside wall. This contact created a substantial amount of damage on the left and right side of the blue and red Tundra, forcing Papis to pit under green flag conditions.

On lap nine, the first caution was waved for debris on the two-mile racetrack. Crew chief Randy Goss took this opportunity to bring Papis back to pit road for additional repairs and adjustments. The field restarted on lap 12 with Papis scored in 30th-place.

Despite a left front tire rub, Papis moved into the top-25 on lap 30. The GEICO Toyota was able to continue full speed as the smoke disappeared from the rub. A green flag run ensued until the third caution was displayed on lap 79 for debris. Papis reported to Goss that the Toyota was tight center off but overall okay with all of the damage sustained.

After pitting for four fresh tires and fuel, Papis restarted on lap 83 from the 23rd position. Over the final 18 laps, four cautions slowed the pace, causing Papis to maneuver his way through the spinning trucks. Using his skills behind the wheel, the Como, Italy, native was able to cross the finish line in the 19th position.

“This GEICO Toyota Tundra was one of the best trucks we’ve brought to the track so far this year,” said Papis. “It was such a shame to have contact that early into the race, but Cole (Whitt) just made a rookie mistake. As much as I’m upset, I’m proud of the hard work that went into this truck and I know that we would have finished well if we didn’t have that damage. We will put this race behind us and head to Bristol on Wednesday.”

Despite his top-20 effort, Papis dropped two positions in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings. Papis now holds 16th-place and is only one point behind 15th-place Jason White.

Papis and the GEICO Racing team only have a few shorts days in the Mooresville, NC shop before heading to Bristol Motor Speedway for short track racing on Wednesday, August 24, 2011. All of the action from the World’s Fastest Half-Mile can be seen live on SPEED Channel beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Krista Voda will kick off the coverage with the Set-Up Show at 7:30 p.m. ET. MRN Radio and Sirius-XM Satellite Radio will also have the live radio broadcast.




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